Academic Symposium 2024

Welcome to the Anna Maria College 2024 Academic Symposium, which will be held in-person on April 10th, from 9 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

What is an Academic Symposium?

The Academic Symposium is an opportunity for Anna Maria College students and faculty to proudly display and discuss their recent scholarly work, including research projects, creative writing, artwork, and more! 

What to expect:

Poster and oral presentations from students, faculty and recently published authors who will be displaying and discussing their recent and relevant research and hard work.

There will be a career fair from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.  
A professional photographer will be on-hand to take free headshots. (time/location TBD) 
There will be a coffee truck! 
There will be interactive presentations and many opportunities to be enlightened about a wide array of topics.


Academic Symposium Topic Submission

Academic Symposium 2023 Program

2023 Faculty Presenters

Faculty Authors Discuss Publishing Their Work

By: Authors Faculty


Stop by and talk to Anna Maria faculty who have published this past year and find out about their creative process, revising, publishing, and marketing their work to the general public. Works include peer-reviewed articles in professional journals, articles on pedagogical techniques, an edited volume of case studies for use in teaching, a YA fictional novel, and much more! This will feature Joan-Beth Gow, Travis Maruska, Nicole Brewer, Dana Sheenan, Kevin Dowd, Achu Johnson Alexander, Lisa Summer and Kerriann Marden.

Writing a Novel in Poems

By: Craig Blais


Professor Craig Blais will present on work completed during his spring 2022 sabbatical, which focused on the writing of his novel-in-poems: /The Vents/. /The Vents/ is narrated by Mal, an adolescent boy in working-class Western Massachusetts. Through short, vivid scenes that move breathlessly between past and present, image-rich lyrics and fast-paced scenes, the book ultimately tells a story of family, loyalty, and the powerful longing to “disappear and live free.” After Mal’s father falls ill and dies, his big brother enlists in the army, where he is changed forever by a terrible accident. With an arsenal of survival strategies including Jack Kerouac, Sonic Youth, drugs, truancy, first love, poetry, and brass knuckles, the protagonist observes the world around him—and eventually the world inside of him—with understated humor and surprising compassion. Professor Blais’s presentation will include an overview of this creative project and his creative process, followed by a public reading and Q&A.

Sculpture Walk: Mathias Neumann, Basics

By: David Wackell


Sculpture Walk for the current exhbition of public sculpture by Matthias Neumann entitled Basics. We will begin the walk (weather permitting) by the Campus Center and end at Miriam Hall, with time to view the current exhbition, Willy Heeks, Paintings. A firsthand account about the sculptures construction and discussion of Neumann’s ideas and practice will take place along with Q&A.

Closing the Gap in Mandated Reporting Laws: Investigating Historical Child Sexual Abuse Reporting Requirements

By: Jeffrey Trant


Background: Victims of childhood sexual abuse (“CSA”) frequently don’t disclose their abuse until years later, if ever. Delayed disclosure is even more common among victims of CSA committed by clergy. Problematically, mandated reporting laws are silent on the issue of historical CSA. Recently, the U.S. Catholic Church has required reporting historical CSA to civil/criminal authorities to close the gap. This study examined how historical CSA differs in various archdioceses child protection policies and across archdioceses and civil statutes.
Methods: Comparative content analysis was employed to conduct a policy analysis using publicly available Catholic child protection policies and state civil statutes. The sample in this analysis included archdioceses’ child protection policies and civil statutes along with their differential child protection statutes from different regions across the U.S., which were matched for comparison according to jurisdictional alignment (N=5). Next, a working typology of policies was developed. Finally, comparative content analysis was conducted with matched policies and statutes.
Results: Three archdioceses were categorized as conclusive-misaligned, one as ambiguous-aligned, and one as ambiguous-misaligned for the historical CSA dimension. No archdioceses were categorized as conclusive-aligned. In contrast to civil statutes, this study found that archdioceses’ policies required reporting to civil authorities even in cases where the victim is now an adult and the sexual abuse is reported to have occurred when the victim was a minor.
Conclusions: Archdiocesan policies exceeded civil statutes by requiring sexual abuse, regardless of when the abuse occurred, to be reported to civil/criminal authorities. Civil statutes should minimally address historical CSA.

Participatory Action Research (PAR) Methodology in Disaster Research and Furthering the Professionalization of the Emergency Management Field

By: Jennifer Carlson


What is Participatory Action Research (PAR) methodology in disaster research? This methodology—an effective tool in implementing interventions—will be explained and a research study proposed to be conducted by the presenter in 2023 using this methodology to further the professionalization of the emergency management field will be shared (Institute of Development Studies, 2023). A qualitative phenomenological study was completed on this topic (emergency management professionalization) in 2015 with findings uncovered in these areas: 1) licensure, 2) higher education and training, 3) core ethics, values and standards, 4) code of conduct, and 5) liability (Carlson, 2015). Last year in 2022, a study approved by Anna Maria College’s Institutional Review Board for a research project related to the same topic—with the subtopic above of “higher education and training” (number two, above)—was completed. This study used the Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) methodology and was noted as the first of seven to be proposed and conducted over the next seven consecutive years at the college on the topic. Findings from the study will be shared, along with the IRB proposal submitted for the study noted above, and the associated research plan which now spans 25 years. The 2023 study seeks to address, through PAR: licensure (number one, above) in addition to education programs and scholarships number two, above), and the funding of directorships (uncovered as a needed finding from the 2022 study). These studies are intended to provide a platform to work from toward the continued professionalization of the emergency management field.

Working Together-- A collaborative research project

By: Lenore Rust, June Ganley , Shannon Cousineau


The presenters will discuss benefits, barriers and lessons learned throughout the collaborative research project between AMC Social Work Faculty and Notre Dame’s Pedipals Program. The research focused on the experiencing of caregivers of children with complex medical needs.

Historiography of Science and the Philosophy of History

By: Matt Waldschlagel


It has been observed that the history of science and the philosophy of science have largely gone in very different directions in recent decades. I argue that there is a parallel story to tell about the relationship between historiography, including the historiography of science, and the philosophy of history. This presentation puts historiography, including the historiography of science, in conversation with the philosophy of history. I contend that the lack of dialogue between the philosophy of history and historiography as such (including the historiography of science) parallels – in terms of its effects on each academic discipline – what has been, until more recently, the lack of dialogue between the philosophy of science and the history of science. Despite what might appear to be a presentation aimed at specialists, this presentation will be appropriate for all attendees and pitched at a level at which anyone can appreciate it. It should be of special interest to anyone curious about what genuine interdisciplinary research looks like. I will also briefly discuss how my Summer 2022 Summer Archival Fellowship at the Center for Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh, one of the world’s most important institutions for the study of philosophy of science, allowed me to pursue this research. My research project has culminated in a chapter for the forthcoming Handbook of the Historiography of Science, which will be published by Springer in late 2023 or early 2024.

The Loss of Kapwa: A Review of Literature on Philippine Identity, History, and Humanity

By: Reagan Paras


The Loss of Kapwa: A Review of Literature on Philippine Identity, History, and Humanity
For over four hundred years, the people of the Philippines experienced brutal colonialization by foreign oppressors (Constantino, 1975). After defeating the Filipinos during the Philippine-American War, the United States instituted a pacification campaign, including the miseducation of the colonized (Hsu, 2013; Leonardo & Matias, 2013). This colonial education contributed to the self-denigration of cultural identity (Halagoa, 2010), and led to the accepted belief of American superiority over Filipino culture and ethnicity (Espiritu, 2003).
Tupas (2008) explains that institutions that practice ‘historical forgetting,’ attempt to disconnect people from their history through misrecognition. Misrecognition is realized when a culture denies its lived experiences, thus creating a misrepresentation of identity (Bourdieu, 1990). The practice of historical forgetting continues today as historical and cultural curriculum research for school textbooks rarely include authentic Filipino perspectives/contributors (Colma, 2013). The invisibility, loss of shared identity, and lack of belonging contributes to higher rates of depression for Filipino-American youth (David, 2013).
The number of Filipino educators is disproportionate to public school students (Dobbs, 2014). This lack of representation is also consistent within the music education profession as the number of Asian music teacher licensure candidates is disproportionate to the U.S. population (Elpus, 2015). Despite being the second largest Asian subgroup in the U.S. (Budiman, 2021), there is little research on Filipino music educators or experiences of Filipino students. This review will inform music educators on the history and impact of colonization of Filipino-Americans.

2023 Student Presenters

The Best Practices to Promote Access to HealthCare Services Among Undocumented Immigrants

By: Alanis Vazquez-Colon

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The United States has the largest immigrant population when compared with any other country. But there are disparities in access to healthcare. The topic of this paper is the best practices to promote access to healthcare services among undocumented immigrants. In addition, the paper aims to explore factors affecting access to healthcare services among immigrants and how nurses can improve patient outcomes for this community. This is a qualitative study. Findings of this paper show immigrants face barriers to accessing healthcare and hospitals need to provide training about treating and improving care for the immigrant community. Nurses are advocating for more training and tools to treat this population, to improve patient outcomes.

Acute Versus Palliative Care in End Stage Heart Failure

By: Alexis Albin

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Quality of life is important for all patients, but especially for patients with end stage heart failure because that is the end of the life they lived. To have the best quality of care, it must be the best for the patient, the patient’s family, and the preferences of both. Many patients will choose to not do palliative care because of how misunderstood it is, but overall, it can aid them in having more comfort instead of consistent trips to the hospital. Acute care will aide in fixing the principal problem the patient is experiencing at the time of hospitalization while palliative care will allow the patient to be treated in the comfort of their own home.

The Hole in Holiness

By: Anna Mann

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Sophomore psychology major Anna Mann will read a selection of her creative writing, including one poem. Her poem, titled ‘The hole in holiness’ explores themes of Sainthood. A discussion will follow.  Poetry is one of my favorite mediums. I often author poems in my free time as an expression of what I am feeling and thinking. I was really drawn to of the idea of holiness; as someone who was raised Catholic, I have always had a sense of what holiness is. Yet how does the word holiness affect one in the modern world? We learned in theology class that holiness means pure, but what does purity mean for each person? I understand holiness as the spiritual purity that each individual person figures out. We live in a world that is constantly changing and things that were seen as indecent 50 years ago are seen as casual today. So, if purity itself has changed, does that mean holiness itself has changed? I believe that the Christian world especially the more conservative or traditional part of Christianity would say that purity has been misguided/ misinterpreted in the modern world. The Bible is more than 2000 years old and still holds true today. “Who keeps an oath despite the cost, lends no money at interest, accepts no bribe against the innocent. Whoever acts like this shall never be shaken” (Psalm 15:4-5). This quote from the Bible could perfectly describe a part of holiness and how timeless holiness seems from the church’s perspective.

Empathy After Covid

By: Anyella Rodriguez

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It seems as though Covid has impacted almost every aspect of everything. It effected our jobs, relationships, the environment, travel, education, the health care system, you name it, it most likely has changed due to Covid, or the isolation of the pandemic. Given that the pandemic has been ongoing for almost three years now, it is critical for us to focus on people’s psychological well-beings. The pandemic has had a vast impact on people’s mental health. Our emotional, psychological, and social well-being all contribute to our mental health. It has an impact on how we think, feel, and act. It also influences how we deal with stress, interactions, connections with people, and making good decisions. From childhood and youth to maturity, awareness of mental health is vital. Then, there is the emphasis on connecting with people. The lack of empathy can lead to friction within relationships and many other aspects of life. Examining this as a result of isolation, ponders the question of whether empathy levels rose or dwindled? Has the time we spent apart during the pandemic effected the way we empathize? Is being around people essential to being more empathic? For this project, I will be displaying how Covid and isolation has affected empathy in our society and how empathy is vital to our humanity, to individuals, for everyday life.

Identifying and Intervening in Child Abuse

By: Ashley Gray

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The World Health Organization (WHO) defines child maltreatment as “all forms of physical and emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect, and exploitation that results in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, development or dignity.” WHO estimates that 40 million children are abused each year. Child abuse remains a global problem as the effects of child abuse can lead to chronic illnesses, increased risk of emotional/behavioral disorders, substance abuse, or even death. The trauma of child abuse is not a short-term problem as the consequences follow the victims throughout their lives, impacting future relationships and their physical and mental health. This paper summarizes why it is important for nurses and other healthcare professionals to be mandated reporters. It is imperative to provide them with the proper knowledge to identify, educate, integrate screening tools, and implement other interventions to minimize the reoccurrence of child abuse. The objective of this research is to help nurses and other healthcare professionals provide effective intervention techniques to keep children safe.

Veteran Suicide Prevention

By: Bailey Nugent

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Extensive research and reporting indicates that U.S. veterans, as a group, are more likely to commit suicide than their civilian counterparts. Further research suggests that this is further broken down to veterans who do not seek care at a Veteran Health Association (VHA) facility are even more likely to commit suicide than those who do. This paper aims to evaluate the processes that can be implemented in healthcare settings to aid in the prevention of suicide in our veterans. From the evaluation of these studies, the key findings suggest that identifying veteran patients is the first step, followed by specialized suicide screening tools that differ slightly from standard tools used in these settings. Following this identification and screening, timely meetings with a mental health professional further aid in the prevention strategy.

Techniques Involved in Covid-19 virus Detection

By: Bernard Ofosuhene

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SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic killed over 240,000 people worldwide as of May 2020. The virus’ surface spike protein binds to its receptors in humans and it is activated by the human proteases. It is transmitted mainly through contact. This presentation addresses the techniques used to detect the viral genome in samples collected from patients and summarizes the presenter’s internship experience at both Boston Heart Diagnostics and UMass Memorial Medical Center. At Boston Heart Diagnostics, knowledge was gained regarding the science behind the novel coronavirus. The virus can be detected via laboratory techniques such as RT-qPCR, an assay which the presenter was responsible for performing. Experience at the UMass hospital has complemented this clinical skill with an exploration of the body’s physiological response to this virus and many other viral diseases. Each visit to a patient’s room provides a unique knowledge about different illnesses and their symptoms, including covid.

Effects of Nursing Interventions on Obesity

By: Brandon Dorsey

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Obesity is becoming one of the largest health crises in the world and the incidence is only rising. The current obesity rate for people over twenty years old is 42%. The strain on the healthcare system from this many people is immense, and the cost is insurmountable. Obesity is a risk factor for many other diseases including Diabetes Type II, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), heart disease, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, myocardial infarction and stroke. Is slowing this pandemic even possible? The spread of highly processed, highly palatable and calorically dense foods can be accredited for the rise in these obesity in the last few decades. These types of foods are so readily available and cheap, that slowing the consumption is nearly impossible. There are hundreds of studies diving into the details of obesity management and there has been significant progress in the development of treatments. The purpose of this paper was to explore the efficacy of all types of nursing interventions related to the treatment of obesity.

Prevention of Coronavirus Disease in Correctional Facilities

By: Caitlin Reynolds

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Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread rapid throughout the world and created a pandemic. Everyone has had to adjust to the changes that were made due to the pandemic. Correctional facilities faced many difficulties throughout the pandemic, which they had to adapt to and overcome in order to keep their inmates safe. This presentation examines procedures that were successfully used in corrections facilities to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The procedures that were utilized included: offering the vaccine; symptom screening; quarantining the ill; social distancing; movement restrictions; use of face coverings; sanitizing surfaces; and infection control training for staff members. Therefore, by implementing and maintaining these procedures the incidence of coronavirus disease among the inmates in correctional facilities was reduced.

Best Practice for Caring for Pregnant women with an Opioid Addiction

By: Cara Bromley

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Pregnant women with opioid addiction are a major concern for healthcare workers, this group of women is often one of the most stigmatized groups, however they are in the group in the most need for outreach, education, and care. In the United States of America, the opioid addiction has increased to the point of an epidemic. The rate of women becoming developing OUD has increased drastically to become one third of those seeking addiction care. Pregnant women are turning to opioid use at a steadily growing rate, and women who are addicted are becoming pregnant (CDC, 2017). Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) is a set of withdrawal conditions that occur when a baby was exposed to drugs during the prenatal state. This syndrome has increased from 1.5 cases per 1,000 in 1999 to 6.0 per 1,000 in 2013 (CDC, 2017). Treating children with NAS in a hospital setting costs a staggering amount of 1.5 billion dollars per year. In conlusion, as nurses we can educate women struggling with opioid addiction about the resources available, and the care in order to prevent opioid use during pregnancy.

Pressure Injury Prevention

By: Chayna Bingham-Hendricks

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This review will examine the evidence-based standards of practice in accordance with the prevention of pressure injuries. Additionally, the nurse’s role in the implementation of these standards, and specifically the nursing care required for prevention will be examined and discussed as well. Despite the change made by the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel on April 13th, 2016 from pressure ulcer to pressure injury, the two terms will be used interchangeably in this review. Pressure injuries are a healthcare problem, because it affects quality of life for patients, causes pain, and increases costs, making it an urgent matter that needs immediate attention. Through the review of scholarly evidence-based research studies, quality improvement projects, systematic reviews, meta-analysis, and international guidelines, risk factors were identified as well as a general prevention regimen. Data collection methods included first-hand accounts by reliable studies, or extractions from electronic medical record. Most data was quantitative, therefore included statistical information and a variety of models were created to generate results. The literature review was conclusive with national standard: the “Prevention and Treatment of Pressure Ulcers/Injuries: Clinical Practice Guideline” (2019). Evidence based interventions contributing to pressure injury prevention, and standard nursing care for prevention, include risk assessment, skin assessments, evaluation of nutrition, incontinence management, use of pressure-relieving surfaces, and reposition. By practicing these standards in combination, better patient outcomes were achieved, pressure injuries were prevented, and the incidence rate decreased.

Early Mental Health Intervention vs. Adult Mental Health Intervention (Mental Health Over The Lifespan)

By: Daniel Leinweber

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Emerging adults face a unique set of issues, and these issues are more challenging for those with a severe mental health status diagnosis. Research indicates this age group is the least likely to seek or receive treatment for mental health issues. This study examined mental health disorders as individuals transitioned from adolescence to adulthood and the benefit of continued mental health treatment in individuals afflicted with long-term mental health issues. Mental health and treatment changes during this transition were reviewed to learn what treatments are most effective in reducing symptoms and improving well-being. This study was aimed at learning what supportive and effective continued treatment would be to manage mental illness symptoms after eighteen years of age until the end of the lifespan.

Aftermath of Isolation

By: Domenic Mattress and Ioannis Christodoulo

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Lead researchers Ioannis Christodoulou and Domenic Mattress seek to find a positive correlation between the duration of COVID-19 related lockdowns and its effects on college students’ mental health. The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020-2022 has affected billions of people across the world in various manners. Both lead researchers intend to discover how exactly the recent pandemic has afflicted their college setting and student body across the nation. Researcher Ioannis Christodoulou uses archival data and respective information provided by the Center of Disease Control, American Psychological Association, and various other medical centers to compile research pertaining to the study. Researcher Domenic Mattress provides insightful data on the subject via naturalistic observations on campus grounds. Researcher Domenic’s observations have concluded that the general consensus regarding the attitude on the lockdowns has resulted in a greater feeling of depression and increased anxiety amongst students who attended Anna Maria College from 2020-2022. As both researchers compile data via archives and naturalistic observations, both reach the conclusion that the lockdowns have proven to be a significant detriment to the mental health of college-age students. The commonality amongst the student body is that most felt depressed, hopeless and anxious for their own safety and the safety of others from the years of 2020-2022. Keywords: mental health, depression, anxiety, social anxiety, COVID-19, isolation, lockdowns, online learning

Identifying and Intervening in Intimate Partner Violence

By: Elisabeth Borneman

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This Clinical Practice Problem Evidence-Based Practice Paper explores the barriers that nurses and other healthcare professionals face when identifying and intervening in intimate partner violence (IPV). To identify best current practices regarding this issue, a literature review was carried out using literature from the past 5 years with a nursing focus. The review showed that IPV often goes undetected due to limited use of screening, referrals, and education. Best practices to address IPV is through the implementation of mandatory screening tools, as well as education for nurses and other healthcare professionals regarding IPV. Through the use of these practices, IPV victims can be identified more often and nurses can have more confidence when giving these patients treatment and referrals.

Medication Administration and Nutrition Interventions for Older Adults

By: Emily Gould

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This Clinical Practice Problem Evidence-Based Research Paper explored the best professional nursing and interdisciplinary team measures to promote older adults living safely in their own homes. These interventions would include: community health resources; education; healthy meal programs with cooking classes incorporated; medication safety programs; medication consultations with healthcare professionals; and interactive gardening activities to promote nutritional intake A review of relevant evidence-based research within the last five years identified the best approaches to provide older adults and their families with the resources and information necessary to promote them living safely in their homes. Evidence-based research has shown that nurses and the interdisciplinary team members can develop appropriate interventions and programs for older adults. Food insecurity, medical care, medication costs, lack of financial income, and a lack of awareness of community resources are significant factors for nonadherence to medication administration and malnutrition in the older adult population within the United States. Nutritional program studies have shown that they can provide a platform to assess for food insecurity and evaluate outcomes that promote health and wellness in older adults. In reference to medication programs that promote administration safety, studies have shown that interdisciplinary team member collaborations successfully helped their participants in identifying medication-related problems and gave solutions to improve the quality of life when living safely at home.

Sunsetting a Music Student's Education

By: Emily Kropo

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All around the world, people are experiencing modifications in their academic programs. With new programs opening and old programs closing, especially in college institutions, it leaves less room for consistency in a person’s life. On Friday, June 10th, 2022, Anna Maria College, located in Paxton, Massachusetts, informed 21 students in its three music programs (music, music education, and music therapy) of the school’s intention to discontinue these programs over the next few years due to low enrollment. This announcement weighted heavily on the Anna Maria College community, especially the music students. Without a strong, stable program to complete their education, how can music students be expected to experience a sense of stability in their life? Overall, these music students faced challenges with adjusting their own educational and financial plans, processing the grief that comes with a loss of a community, and redefining their own relationship with music itself. This presentation is supported by a literature review, and contains data from original research, conducted by student researcher, Emily Kropo, under the supervision of Dr. LeBlanc. The purpose of this presentation is to give these students a platform to share their statements, perspectives, and voices on how they were truly impacted. It also encourages college-level faculty to provide helpful resources to students, and to prevent anymore music programs from closing in the future.

Kangaroo Care in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

By: Erinna McCarthy

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This evidence-based practice paper explored the clinical practice problem of the impact which kangaroo care in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) has on the recovery of preterm infants as well as the effect on the parents of these infants when kangaroo care is utilized. Evidence-based literature from the last 5 years was consulted to identify best practice when utilizing kangaroo care in the NICU. The literature revealed the positive effects physiologically that kangaroo care has on growing infants as well as the parents, the literature also revealed the positive emotional and bonding effects of the kangaroo care when utilized correctly. These positive effects include lowered heart rate and blood pressure for the parent participating, increased bonding of infant and parent and decreased time spent in the NICU. Kangaroo care in the NICU when utilized correctly, has positive effects both physiologically and psychologically on all participants.

Impact of Pandemic on Students with Disabilities

By: Hanna Rybicki

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Students with disabilities are a vulnerable population. During the Covid-19 pandemic we saw students with disabilities receive some benefits. The introduction to zoom and recorded audio files helped college students with hearing and visual impairments. Now that in person classes are back, what happens to these students? Are these students still able to request these services? Or has the funding for such services disappeared? My research will display the pros and cons of the pandemic for students with disabilities.

The Importance of Social Emotional Learning

By: Hanna Tobey

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The purpose of this presentation is to focus on the importance of social emotional learning in the classroom. Social and emotional learning focuses on learning how to manage one’s emotions, problem solve, and create impactful and rewarding relationships with peers. The goal of SEL is to promote healthy relationships, coping skills, and comprehension of your own emotions. It’s important for students to learn how to regulate their emotions and nurture relationships in order to succeed in and out of the classroom. Over the past year I have been able to assist in the process of implementing social and emotional learning. Learning the importance of regulating emotions first hand, is essential in having productive interactions that translate outside of the classroom and in school. The expression of emotion is important and often needs to be taught so that students can act in an effective and concise manner. Doing this can lead to less aggressive altercations, further academic achievements, decreased chances of bullying to students with disabilities, and lower dropout rates. I have conducted research to gather qualitative and quantitative data on the benefits of SEL processes in modern classrooms. I used this research to further justify the importance of social and emotional learning in the classroom in order to benefit students in the classroom and outside of the classroom.

Nurse Fatigue Related to Hours Worked

By: Hanna Tomaino

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Nurse fatigue in all kinds of medical facilities poses a huge problem. When nurses are overworked and have little sleep, they have less vigilance. All of which leads to an increase in negative safety errors. Many nurses work over 12 hours per shift. Many end up staying several hours after their shift to chart and report, while others work way over the recommended 40 hours a week. Despite all the recommendations given and studies done, many ignore them and continue doing what they must. In the ever-changing nursing field, they keep up with current medical practice, but not so much with what will keep them healthy. There is significant research showing the best practice to prevent the problem of nurse fatigue. In other places in the world, certain recommendations are highly practiced and have been shown to work well, but some of these recommendations are still shunned in the United States for nursing practice. However, these same recommendations are highly recommended for other professions. These recommendations would have improved patient care outcomes and is a simple fix as in adding a 20 minute break every four hours to take a nap to improve patient outcomes.

Best Practices to Reduce Falls Among the Elderly in the Healthcare Setting

By: Hannah Lawson

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Falls are the leading cause of injury among the elderly in nursing homes. This Evidence-Based Practice Paper examined what factors play a role in falls among the elderly and the implementation of fall prevention programs to reduce the number of falls among the elderly in the healthcare setting. A review of relevant evidence-based literature published within the last five years was conducted to identify best practices to address this problem. The purpose of this paper is to identify risk factors associated with falling; why falls occur; and how to incorporate the implementation of a fall prevention program. Falls often lead to serious injuries or even death among the elderly in the healthcare setting, making this a huge and critical problem. Many facilities lack the knowledge needed to reduce the number of falls and or injuries related to falls. According to Ciance (2017), falls are preventable, but people are living longer and falls will increase without a serious commitment to providing effective fall prevention programs. Best practices to reduce the number of falls among the elderly in the healthcare setting include identifying risk factors associated with falling, why falling occurs, and implementation of a fall prevention program.

Perceptions of College Students on How the Pandemic Influenced their Learning

By: Ioannis Christodoulou

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The pandemic upended how college students engage and learn. For many students, it resulted in the transition to online learning and virtual connections with peers and instructors. The present study examined the effects of these transitions on college learning for Anna Maria students. A survey comprising of 34-multiple choice questions was designed covering topics related to students’ overall quality and satisfaction with online learning. The 2020 survey had been administered to understand- because of the COVID-19 pandemic- how the sudden shift from in person to online learning affected student learning and development. The 2023 survey is being re-administered for students to answer and provide insight to any pandemic-related changes in their learning. Developed and administered by lead researchers Dr. Achu-Johnson Alexander and Dr. John Pratico, they seek to investigate the relationship between online learning and quality of learning experience. The online learning experience may have been coincidental and comfortable for both students and staff alike, however the transition to new technology and learning styles would prove to be a difficult task for staff to uphold. The learning curve for staff to transition to online learning would inhibit students’ abilities to actively participate in online classes, deterring their academic performance. By presenting a survey for the student body to complete, the department of psychology may have insight and find closure to the true nature of online learning for the 2020-2022 academic school years. Data collection is ongoing and findings from the study will be presented at the Academic Symposium.

Martin Luther King And Racial Justice

By: Jasmin Powers

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A poster of Martin Luther King, Jr. will be displayed, including his impact on racial justice and the catholic church. The poster presentation was previously given in the course “Racial Justice and the Catholic Church” led by Dr. Kevin Dowd. This opportunity will be used to educate and advocate for racial justice and how this important topic relates to religion and the civil rights movement.

Surgical Site Infection Prevention

By: Jessica Clary

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In this evidence-based practice presentation, the importance of the prevention of surgical site infections and the proper procedures to provide effective care to surgical sites will be addressed. Surgical site infections can be prevented when each patient is looked at individually including outside factors and not just the surgical procedure. To maintain effective care of surgical sites the registered nurse must take into consideration if a patient has any comorbidities that will negatively impact the healing process, for example: diabetes or being obese. The registered nurse must take into consideration the patient’s health status and the surgery to be completed. Therefore, upon assessment, will provide the proper plan of care for the patient in preventing surgical site infections. In addition, assessing the level of risk each patient will have with all these factors. Furthermore, to prevent the surgical site infections and highly encourage effective healing, the plan of care would include: prophylactic care; antibiotic therapies; and effective dressing changes.

Best Practice in Recognizing and Caring for Postpartum Depression

By: Jessica Miranda

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Postpartum depression (PPD) has been around for a long time, but recently healthcare professionals have identified women earlier at risk for developing PPD. The care for women who experience PPD is lacking significantly due to the shortage of resources and care. Therefore, it is essential for nurses to be able to identify risk factors that contribute to PPD and be knowledgeable in the best practice available to provide treatment. Different events that can put women at risk should be identified, as well as utilizing screening methods to aid in detection and diagnosis. Treatment methods such as psychosocial support are also discussed because it has been shown that women who receive such interventions see better results than those who do not. It is a known fact that there has been limited research in this field of study. Moreover, increasing education to healthcare professionals and new mothers, and providing early treatments to reduce PPD, would increase funding to support future research in this area.

Population Demographics: Challenges of Youth to Old Age

By: Journey Hineline, Maria Scandalito, Donnie Shaw, Sarah Piscione, & Nathan Glidden

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This article is the result of a collaborative effort by multiple authors, who have drawn upon a wide range of academic studies to investigate the relationship between population demographics and various social issues. By examining data from multiple sources, we can provide a comprehensive overview of the ways in which demographic trends can impact issues such as child abuse, sex trafficking, gender inequality, mental illness, chronic disease, and challenges with the aging population. To better understand the relationship between population demographics and these social issues, we have conducted a thorough review of the existing literature, drawing upon studies from a variety of disciplines including sociology, psychology, public health, and economics. Through our analysis, we have identified several key trends and patterns in the relationship between population demographics and social issues. Overall, our analysis suggests that population demographics can have a significant impact on social issues, and that a better understanding of these trends and patterns can help policymakers and stakeholders to address these pressing concerns more effectively. Through research and analysis, it is our intention to display the causes and effects of lifestyle choices, and traumas that contribute to one’s overall health and longevity.

Skin-to-Skin Contact Immediately After Birth

By: Kassandra Register

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This Clinical Practice Problem Evidence-Based Practice Paper explored the effects of immediate skin-to-skin contact between a mother and their infant. A review of relevant evidence-based literature published in the last five years was done to identify current use of skin-to-skin contact in hospitals worldwide. It was found that immediate skin-to-skin contact was not a common practice; however, when used it resulted in multiple benefits. Mothers who participated in immediate skin-to-skin contact with their infants were found to have decreased levels of depression and/or anxiety. Also, it was discovered there are multiple benefits for the infant that participated in immediate skin-to-skin contact. Those benefits include fast breastfeeding initiation, better body temperature regulation and faster development physiologically and psychologically. While there are multiple studies currently in the nursing world, further research can be conducted, as well as skin-to-skin contact can be initiated more in the hospitals today.

The Effectiveness of Equine- Assisted Psychotherapy

By: Kathryn Barnes

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The purpose of this study was to explore the practice of working with individuals in a therapeutic setting and the incorporation of the use of equines in clinical work. The study aimed to examine the effectiveness of equine-assisted psychotherapy versus psychotherapy performed in a traditional office setting. The research question guiding this study was, “Is EAP more, less, or of equal efficacy compared to traditional office setting psychotherapy?” The researcher’s hypothesis: “Equine-assisted psychotherapy may be found to be of equal or more efficacy compared to traditional psychotherapy.” This hypothesis was reached because the researcher believes adding horses as a therapeutic tool in clinical work may add resources, relief, and modeling in session with a client. Additionally, this hypothesis was reached because the researcher recognizes the addition of the horse(s) should not subtract from the clinical knowledge base and skills the clinician(s) already possesses. The methodology guiding this study was a systematic review approach; scholarly articles were gathered from databases, including Google Scholar and JSTOR. The major findings of this thematic analysis of research found non-judgment, relieving of negative emotions, and trust all play key roles in improving the effectiveness of EAP. The findings of this study suggest a promising future for the field. However, more research is needed to explore the effectiveness of equines in psychotherapeutic settings. Any findings and growth in the area could potentially improve the field of social work and mental health treatment and expand services for those in need.

Elder Abuse

By: Kathryn Griffiths

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This paper will address the prevalence of elder abuse in the United States by exemplifying the significance of the problem, specifically regarding home care and nursing homes, and then identifying improvements. After a preliminary analysis of statistical data surrounding elder abuse, an overview of the history of research efforts on this clinical problem concludes by detailing the best evidence-based practice approaches. Specifically, this paper explores the ethical struggle professionals face when they suspect abuse and how it may also impede assessment or intervention. Conclusions derived from these studies suggest that the main etiologic factors affiliated with elder abuse are misinformation, a lack of understanding of the needs of older adults, and social isolation. This paper deducts how awareness of elder abuse by professionals working in home care is essential because the failure to detect abuse can interfere with interventions and in some cases lead to death.

Use of Complementary and Alternative Modalities in Pregnancy

By: Kendall McNamee

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To begin with, one must define what complementary and alternative methods in medicine are and how they are being used in this paper. In general, it refers to a range of therapies that are not traditional scientific medicine but are sometimes used in conjunction with it, such as homeopathic remedies. This paper will address the stages of pregnancy as the first trimester (conception to 12 weeks), second trimester (12-24 weeks), third trimester (24-40 weeks), labor, and the initial six weeks of postpartum. The effects of complementary and alternative methods during pregnancy on stress, pain, anxiety, and mental health will be discussed throughout this paper. Several studies have been reviewed for this paper. They have all shown data at different points in pregnancy. These alternative and complementary methods helped with the effects and changes that took place during this time. Though this is not a common practice in the United States compared to other nations, and education is difficult to reach expecting mothers, there is room for change in the future.

Complementary Therapies in Elder Population

By: Kylee Norris

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The use of alternative and complementary therapies in the long-term care setting has been proven to increase health and wellness, physiologically and psychologically to the elder population. This paper analyzes multiple sources that demonstrate the effectiveness of alternative and complementary therapies in different elderly populations, specifically of those in LTC (long term care) facilities. This paper also compares the use of these therapies to pharmacological therapies, comparing side effects, relief of symptoms, etc. Ultimately, this paper breaks down why, how, and when alternative therapies can be beneficial to our elderly population, and how to improve and maintain better patient outcomes.

Shaken Baby Syndrome

By: Kyleigh Campbell

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This clinical practice problem evidence-based practice presentation explored the different risk factors and preventions prevalent to reduce incidences of shaken baby syndrome, also known as abusive head trauma. A review of relevant evidence-based literature published in the last five years was conducted to identify best practices to address this significant clinical issue. The literature review revealed how prevalent the problem that shaken baby syndrome is in health care and home settings. Abusive head trauma such as shaken baby syndrome is caused by an infant being violently shaken or shaken and impacted against a surface. Abusive head traumas like shaken baby syndrome are the leading cause of child abuse death (Mclnerney et al., 2020). Providing educational videos on PURPLE, an acronym to describe the period in which the baby may cry for hours without being able to be consoled will help the parents have a better understanding of their baby’s behavior. A baby is most at risk of abusive head trauma from 2-4 months in a single parent/adult household. This type of trauma can occur within seconds, but the consequences can last a lifetime. Being able to pick out potentially at-risk parents and provide them with proper education and support before leaving the hospital will reduce the incidences of shaken baby syndrome.

Bay State Physical Therapy

By: Lauren Miller

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This poster will describe the experience of Health Science major Lauren Miller’s experience as an intern at Bay State Physical Therapy in Worcester, MA. The poster will include pictures of the facility and the diverse rehabilitation equipment available to patients. It will discuss various injuries treated such as lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow), various forms of head injuries, dislocated hips, and ACL tears. It will also show a variety of treatment modalities observed such as the use of heat packs, stim machines, acupuncture, slide shooter boards, and a HydroWorx aqua underwater treadmill. It will dispel some misconceptions about the commonly prescribed “RICE” (rest, ice, compression, elevation) that is not clinically proven to work, and describe instead how the injured muscle should be moved to relieve pain. The poster will also delve into how some diagnoses such as carpal tunnel syndrome may be related to deeper issues in the neck and spine.

Nursing Care of Gestational Diabetes

By: Lizbeth Luna-Torres

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Diabetes is an ongoing investigation of the body that has not had sufficient data collection, evidence-based practice, and awareness to the communities. This has affected many people including women who are pregnant with diabetes. Diabetes does not go away once you become pregnant and sometimes women become diagnosed with gestational diabetes (GDM) during their pregnancy. GDM is a common perinatal complication related to the body’s intolerance to glucose that develops during pregnancy. Throughout this paper, you will notice a pattern of studies that have had inconclusive data due to several different factors.

Best Practices in End-of-Life Care (EOL): Improving Quality of Care and Patient Safety

By: Maria Gil

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The goal of this research is to raise awareness about End-of-Life Care (EOL), and it should be discussed with family members and the care team early enough to provide a peaceful passage with dignity and respect. Advocating for more research and better education on the topic for future nurses will improve patient-centered care, evidence-based practice, and patient safety. By being comfortable and confident on how to safely and kindly deliver EOL care, nurses can increase the quality and safety of palliative and hospice services. Researching the most effective ways to provide EOL care can help health-care team members to brainstorm the most efficient and caring way to care for patients and their loved ones.

Best Practices That Promote Client Safety in the Hospital Setting

By: Mariama Jasseh

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Improving patient safety in the hospital setting has become a major crucial practice for nurses and other health care professionals in providing effective care on patients. Patient safety requires knowledge and skills in multiple areas including human factors and technology. In this Clinical Practice Problem Evidence-Based Practice Paper, there are numerous practices discussed to improve patient safety in the hospital. There were multiple research papers written by nurses and published within the last 5 years used to identify some of the problems that can jeopardized patient safety and ways to improve safety in the hospital. Participants such as nurses identified staffing issues, telephone ringing, computer issues, and multitasking as the highest distractors and this can contribute to why medication error occurs. By eliminating distractions in the hospital, it will decrease the risk for error. Hourly rounding can reduce the amount of call lights, which contributes to lowering alarms because patients knew their needs would be responded to every hour. It also decreases the alarms for intravenous pumps because nurses were checking on them before the alarms were to go off. Implementing these practices at the hospital can improve patient safety.

Who Supports the Support System? An exploration into the effects of burnout in therapists after the pandemic.

A Day of Being a Lab Assistant

By: Marina Stoycheva

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My poster will describe my experience as an intern at Boston Heart Diagnostics in Framingham, MA. Boston Heart provides a variety of diagnostic testing, and my area of focus was processing COVID tests. I will describe the techniques I used every day such as RNA extraction and PCR. I will discuss the reagents I used, and the automated equipment employed for processing samples. I will explain the theoretical basis of this process and touch on the impact of this internship as a future worker in the health care field.

The best practices to improve survival in disasters.

By: Meghan Sonia

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This clinical practice problem evidence-based paper explores the impact that disaster preparedness can have on survival rates. The studies reviewed used questionnaires given to nurses in many different specialties to obtain their opinions on how they felt about their education towards natural disaster care. The results across all the studies were in agreement that there was an education deficit in this field. The best practice all the studies concluded was that an increase in education is vital to the improvement of patient safety. More specifially, one of the best practices that was identified is to increase teaching within nursing programs and their exposure to the emotional, physical, and mental aspects of natural disasters. A major limitation that most of these studies faced were a lack of experimental studies. As more natural disasters occur, lack of education means patients will receive mediocre care, which may create greater stress for nurses.

The Impact of COVID on the Mental Health and College Experience of International Students

By: Merlyne Gil

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This poster presentation will display information on the impact of COVID on the mental health and college experience of International Students. Statistics regarding the number of international students returning to their home country and the number returning to the US after the pandemic are analyzed. The pandemic impacted the lives of students’ education experiences in different ways, but some international students faced additional hardships. Language and cultural differences and “being an adult” far away from home and family can add to the mental strain of a pandemic.This project, going beyond statistics, speaks to international students directly. How did returning to their home country impact them socially? How did using online platforms like Zoom affect their education? These are some of the questions asked to understand better the unique experience of international students and how they coped with the pandemic.

Reducing Incidences of Medication Errors in the Healthcare Setting

By: Michaela DuQuette

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This Evidence-Based Practice Problem explores the best practices to reduce incidences of medication errors in the healthcare setting. Medication errors are one of the most prominent medical errors that nurses encounter in their practice and is one of the leading causes of medical error death in the United States. Guidelines such as the rights of medication administration and electronic medication administration records with barcode administration are some of the best practices for nurses to follow when preparing and administering medications. Not only should nurses follow appropriate guidelines and utilize technology to reduce medication errors, but they should have extensive prior knowledge regarding medications and how to administer them as well as training with dosage calculations. When medication errors occur, it’s critical that nurses report the incidence right away. Detailed medication error reports will reveal common themes that can lead to the discovery of new and improved practices for safe and effective medication administration.

Best Practices for Patients with End-Stage Heart Failure

By: Molly Knox

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Currently, there are 6.2 million adults diagnosed with heart failure in the United States of America. This Evidence-Based Practice Paper examines end-stage heart failure and how to help improve the survival rate of those who suffer from it. A review of relevant evidence-based literature published within the last 5 years was conducted to identify the best practices to address this practice problem. A review of the literature resulted in the identification of three current best practices. The implantation of a left ventricular assist device (LVAD), the requirement for monitoring input and output as well as daily weights, and dietary changes such as reduced sodium and the elimination of foods high in fat and cholesterol were among the best practices. With the rising prevalence of heart failure, these practices must become part of the nurse’s daily routine when caring for these patients. If hospitals and clinics adopt the best practices outlined in this paper, they will not only help to reduce hospital readmissions but will also help to improve the survival rate of heart failure patients.

Clinical Practice Problem: Ventilator Associated Pneumonia Prevention

By: Morgan McKenney

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The purpose of this clinical practice problem evidence-based paper is to expand on problems that are causing an increase in the development of ventilated associated pneumonia. With the expansion of knowledge on these problems, the paper expands upon ways to improve the quality of care given to ventilated patients to reduce their chances of developing ventilated- associated pneumonia. Improving day-to-day care in patients on mechanical ventilation. This paper explored various studies conducted all over the world in many ICU units. Some studies touch on experimental changes in oral hygiene care such as using chlorhexidine gel. Another study included a focus on the nurse’s knowledge of ventilator care and the benefits of enhancing training among nursing staff. With the research presented in this evidence-based paper, nurses use the various techniques mentioned in their nursing practice. Nurses can improve patient outcomes by providing frequent oral care. To ensure that care is frequent and proper, nursing managers and supervisors can correlate specific training and skills days for nursing staff. Nursing staff can also work on communication with each other to meet patient care needs. In doing all interventions listed, the nurses can work towards improving patient outcomes and decreasing the incidence of ventilated associated pneumonia.

Preventing, Intervening and Identifying Elder Abuse

By: Natalie Smith

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In the United States, elder abuse is a severe and widespread problem that affects thousands of men and women over the age of 60 on a daily basis. This Evidence-Based Practice study looks at the different sorts of elder abuse, including financial, emotional, physical, psychological, sexual, and even neglect abuse, as well as the ways for preventing, intervening, and identifying it in a healthcare context. To determine the best practice approach to this practice problem, a review of relevant evidence-based literature published within the last 5 years was done. Following a review of the literature, three techniques that may be used to ensure safe care were identified. The capacity of older persons to report elder abuse in an emergency room setting, identifying beneficial programs to prevent, identify, and intervene with elder abuse, and teaching caregivers on how to recognize elder financial abuse and the necessity of such education. Given the prevalence of elder abuse that goes unnoticed and unreported, it is critical that nurses incorporate these principles into the care they offer. If hospitals embrace the best practices indicated in this paper the prevalence of elder abuse will be reduced through preventive, intervention, and identification approaches. These approaches will also lower the patients’ risk and vulnerability to elder abuse. Furthermore, healthcare professionals that embrace the best practices indicated in this paper will be able to reduce the incidence of elder abuse.

Mental Health First Aid, Myths and Misconceptions of Mental Health

By: Nolan Shaw

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This presentation is about myths and misconceptions of mental health. Data has been collected from an “opinions quiz” activity handed out to 26 participants as part of a college course on mental health (PSY 120). This course introduces the topic of mental health in adulthood. Mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns will be reviewed. Particular emphasis will be placed on reducing mental health stigma and talking to adults about their mental health in various professional settings. This project aims to train 75 public safety professionals in mental health first aid (MHFA) within the Department of Justice. Massachusetts police officers will take the course, which is beneficial to their knowledge in helping others when a mental health crisis occurs. Data regarding the 26 participants from the fall will be shared with more data to be collected.

Psychological Processes of the Labor Market Crisis Post Pandemic

By: Nolan Shaw and Anthony Haywood

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The unemployment rate in the United States has been an ongoing issue since the Covid 19 pandemic occurred. In April of 2020, the pandemic increased the unemployment rate from 3.8% to 14.8%. This has led to many businesses posting help wanted signs on the windows of their stores. This research will show how service companies are short-staffed due to low employment rates. However, within a year, the unemployment rate went down from 14.8% in April of 2020 to 5.4% in July of 2021. There are still help wanted signs in front of most small
businesses and fast food businesses today. Starting pay, benefits, flexibility of hours, and overall job security have influenced labor market employment rates. The research of this project will display data regarding part time, and full time employment rates over the course of 2020 to 2021. This is important to provide, as both have a prominent role with the unemployment rate today. Keeping this in mind, the information with be generalized for the United States labor market.

Nursing Staffing Practices : A Literary Review

By: Philippe Berry

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The purpose of this clinical practice problem evidence-based paper is to explore factors that influence and impact nurse staffing within the acute care setting and to identify best practice for nurse staffing within the acute care setting. The impact of nurse staffing on patient care outcomes, mortality and adverse safety events will be reviewed and the current data will be assessed for gaps in necessary informatics. Through this survey of information, paths towards minimizing mortality and adverse safety events in the acute care setting will be explored. A literary review of six research studies was completed to determine the current approaches to nurse staffing, the efficacy of those approaches, and the necessity of further research. It is made abundantly clear through this review that there is currently no crystal clear best practice outlined with empirical evidence. In addition, further research focused on objective, quantitative patient outcome data is required to form a holistic problem solving approach to this very complex issue of nurse staffing.

Childhood Trauma: Exploring Coping Skills in Young Adults Affected

By: Phylicia O'Dell

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At a young age, a child may experience childhood trauma. How does a child cope with these traumas later on in life? During these times, young adults cope differently after they experience trauma at a young age. They may travel a positive route, undergoing therapy, exercise, meditation, etc. They may also choose a more negative coping route, which may include smoking, substance use, overeating, undereating, etc. A study conducted by Vincent Felitti (1998) provides data that shows different ages and how the amount of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) can more than likely affect a young adult negatively. Generally speaking, the more adverse childhood experiences a young adult may face as a child, the more likely they are to choose negative coping skills. The presentation will review the presenter’s research study aimed at identifying a relationship between the data collected by Vincent Felitti about ACEs and the coping skills a young adult may use to cope with their traumas. The presentation will briefly discuss the data collection experience and discuss the findings with recommendations for future research.

The Impact of the Pandemic on the Mental Health of College Athletes

By: Rachaya Lane-Jette and Patty Agbeh

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The pandemic affected the mental health of college students as a whole. For this project, we looked at the motivation of student-athletes before, during, and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Before the pandemic, student-athletes were less stressed and found enjoyment in their academics and sports lifestyles. Constant isolation and lack of access to sports brought on by the pandemic increased levels of depression and anxiety and affected their overall well-being. Returning to campus, student-athletes had to readjust to balancing academics and extracurricular activities. Students were required to test for COVID daily, isolate often, and learn to play their sport differently to adhere to COVID safety precautions. Most college campuses had little or no mental health resources until months after students returned to campus. Many dedicated student-athletes found their motivation and commitment to their sport and their education, had decreased.

Mental Health Before and After the COVID Pandemic

By: Raquel Pena and Alexandra Rowland

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A distinct measurement of mental health before and after the pandemic is hard to measure due to a lack of baseline before, and the lack of a person’s willingness to look for help or assistance. However there have been attempts in studies to measure it to a certain extent. One study mentions an increase in distress for young adults and mostly for women. Such examples that increase distress could include medical issues, loss of jobs, change in lifestyle, and monetary issues.
From what is observed, the most affected is young adults with children because they have increased anxiety due to concerns about keeping them safe from COVID. In the past two years, certain groups of people, mainly young adults and parents, were more driven to take a mental health screening test. This has led to more outreach for mental health issues. Roughly 5.4 million people had taken this screening test in order to seek assistance. They were experiencing increases in PTSD, behavioral difficulties, issues with severe anxiety, and psychotic episodes.
The GHQ-12 (General Health Questionnaire) was a self-administered tool to assess psychological stability and detect non-psychotic psychiatric problems. A study in the UK showed an increase in mental distress from 18% in 2014-2018 to 27% in 2020. Addressing the needs of those affected by the COVID pandemic is crucial to assisting those in the future should a similar crisis occur.

Food Insecurity: An Issue of Local and Global Significance

By: Richard LaPorte, Callie Bucchino, Meghan Stone, Ohene Boeteng, & Samantha Rodriguez

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has highlighted food insecurity as an issue of global significance. Our senior seminar group has chosen to explore this problem at many different levels and to analyze its contributing variables. We begin by defining food insecurity, then discuss its drivers locally and internationally. We examine the effects of food pricing and the effects of the recent COVID pandemic on food shortages. Contamination, leading to recalls, can drive food insecurity and we explore some specific case studies of removal of unsafe foods from the shelf. Children are particularly vulnerable to nutritional detriments caused by not having enough food and we explore the effects on both mental and physical health in this population. College age students are also at risk of food insecurity, and we investigate unique contributing factors in this population. Lastly, we look at possible solutions for this global issue including government intervention, help from various humanitarian organizations, and technological advances.

The Effects of the Pandemic on Social Life

By: Roger Kennedy

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In the world today, our social life has begun to look like much of what it did before the year 2020. Concerts are beginning to resume, more and more people are starting to take countrywide trips, just like we had once done. However, there still are large groups of people who are remaining under the same order of being isolated, and even groups who were once the outgoing type joining the isolated group as well. These are all effects of the pandemic. The pandemic has caused people who were once seen as extroverted, adventurous people to turn into isolated, introverted people. This can also be said for people who were once introverted. It can be said that the pandemic gave people a new sense of reality, making people rethink what was really important to them or not. For many, it was the option of whether or not to stay home from an event. However, for others, it was making the decision to go out and have fun with their loved ones simply because they had been isolated for so long during the pandemic. These decisions come from many people and data that was studied to help really show the social changes really affected the lives of many. All in All, the pandemic awakened a new heightened sense in many people, ultimately affecting their social life too. The research for this presentation will display data and information that shows the effects of the pandemic on people’s social lives.

Effects of Mindfulness-Based Interventions on Stress and Burnout in Registered Nurses

By: Ryann Molinari

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This paper on the Effects of Mindfulness-Based Interventions on Stress and Burnout in Registered Nurses explores the effects that mindfulness-based interventions have on reducing stress and burnout in registered nurses. A review of evidence-based literature relating to the use mindfulness-based interventions published within the last five years was conducted to identify best practices to address the significant clinical issue of stress and burnout in registered nurses. The literature revealed that many registered nurses experience stress related to long work hours, increasing workload, and lack of control over the work environment that can lead to burnout. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines burnout in the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed” (World Health Organization, 2019). Best practices to address decreasing the incidence of stress and burnout in registered nurses include healthcare organizations implementing mindfulness-based intervention programs within the work environment, or making them available to registered nurses outside of work.

Career Engagement of College Seniors

By: Sara Sammons and Alexander Johnson Achu

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The senior year in college signals approaching graduation and life after college. Decisions about the next steps in various domains of life – such as work and further education – are being made in preparation for life after college. This study was designed to explore the career planning and decision making (that is, career engagement practices) of current college seniors. College seniors from Anna Maria College (N=55) completed a survey to see what career engagement they have participated in and how prepared they felt about the workplace post-college, using the Career-related Decision-making self-efficacy scale, Career Concerns Scale (short form), and Career Engagement Scale (CE; Hirschi, Freund, & Herrmann, 2014). It was predicted that a positive correlation would exist between the levels of career engagement and the perceived preparedness for the work place post their undergraduate degree. Preliminary results indicate that seniors are concerned about burnout and being unsuccessful but expressed optimism in having a better life and being an adult. A majority indicated not using career services on campus during their undergraduate college. A complete analysis of results will be presented at the symposium

Who Supports the Support System? An exploration into the effects of burnout in therapists after the pandemic.

By: Savannah de Sousa

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Therapists are in high demand now more than ever resulting from the recent surge of mental health issues after the pandemic. This surge has helped shine a light on the importance of our mental well-being and mental health professionals across the country, but it has also come with consequences. People are now facing unreasonable wait times to be placed with a therapist and therapists are currently overloaded with more clients than usual. While it is great that people are prioritizing their mental health, who is prioritizing the well-being of therapists? Burnout is a common and serious issue many people deal with, we often see it in teachers, parents, and students. However, with all this information and the importance surrounding burnout in these populations, it appears that there is not much conversation about burnout among therapists. Therapy can be both a rewarding but also mentally draining profession, and with this recent surge in mental health issues, their job becomes more demanding. My research will display what burnout is and what it may look like in therapists, compare burnout in therapists before and after the pandemic, compare their job performance, and explore possible coping mechanisms.

Best Practice to Prevent a Postpartum Hemorrhage (PPH)

By: Simran Jakhu

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Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is common and can occur in patients without any risk factors for hemorrhage. It is the major cause of maternal morbidity and mortality. Active management of the third stage of labor (AMTSL) should be used routinely to reduce its incidence. The most important step in preventing maternal morbidity and mortality rate due to PPH is skilled attendance at birth and access to emergency care. Also, the use of oxytocin after delivery of the anterior shoulder and the importance of simulation training as a team in a hospital facility. Recognizing bleeding disorders associated to massive blood losses can contribute to a hemorrhage without the patients knowing it. Appropriate management of postpartum hemorrhage requires prompt diagnosis and treatment. Rapid team based care minimizes morbidity and mortality associated with PPH. Massive transfusion protocols allow for rapid inappropriate response to hemorrhage is exceeding 1,000 mL of blood loss. Primary PPH is defined as a blood loss of 500 mL within the next 24 hours after birth. Introduction of an evidence based management model can potentially reduce the practice variability and improve the quality of care. Nurses who work in labor and delivery and postpartum settings must be aware of the symptoms and indications of postpartum hemorrhage and be prepared to intervene quickly. Bimanual compression and external uterine massage are frequently utilized as first treatments. This compression method promotes uterine contractions that prevent atony and aid in the discharge of clots or the retained placenta.

Opioid Abuse Disorder in Pregnant Women

By: Sophia Guarino

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Opioid addiction during pregnancy can be a challenge for the caregivers, mothers, and the fetus. Addiction that goes untreated can lead to poor health outcomes. Treatment involves medication as the standard of care and standardized screening processes for substance use during pregnancy. Healthcare providers collaborate and coordinate treatment to ensure optimal maternal and fetal outcomes. Women with Opioid Abuse Disorder (OUD) can experience caregiver bias and stigma due to their condition. Not only is treatment important for the health of the fetus and mother, but also how nurses approach individuals and families experiencing opioid abuse disorder (OUD) with compassion, understanding, and the use of a comprehensive care model. Health care workers perform drug screenings regarding addiction, enhancing prescription drug monitoring, and educate mothers on the harm of using opioids to help improve patient outcomes (Busse et al., 2021).

MHFA Instructor Training

By: Steven Makynen

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The research topic at hand is looking at the significance of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) instructor training. Topics explored include 1) how effective the course is at providing usable knowledge and skills regarding mental health, 2) the degree to which these skills can be applied to different scenarios that people might experience in their jobs, and 3) the impact of the training on the public safety sector. MHFA instructors took both a pre- and post-evaluation to provide their understanding of MHFA curriculum and learning outcomes, which ultimately will be shared with their local communities. The data associated with these evaluations is still being analyzed but has already been collected. It is hypothesized that the data will support the notion that MHFA instructors demonstrate the knowledge associated with the MHFA instructor training course. Results will provide crucial feedback regarding areas of improvement and will ensure that the overall quality of the course remains at a high standard across the country. This research is significant in also presenting an insight into MHFA training in terms of providing information regarding mental health first aid, mental health stigma, and ways to talk to people about their mental health.


By: Sydney Stebbins

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“A Poetry Reading”
Sophomore elementary education major Sydney Stebbins will read a selection of her creative writing, including three poems, and take questions afterward. Her poems, titled “Darkness,” “The Book of Life,” and “The Monster Under My Bed,” explore themes of isolation, growing up, and identity in lyric form.

Patient's Family at Their Bedside

By: Taylor Gamble

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Does the presence of the patient’s family at their bedside impact their health outcome? This clinical question is significant as determining an answer may impact the patient’s overall care and increase or decrease their chance of having a positive outcome. The method used to research the question is comparing several research articles that discuss the benefits of having family present at bedside hand-off or report, the negative effects COVID-19 hospital visitation regulations, and how family presence shortened the patient’s hospitalization time. The majority of evidence leaned towards family presence at the patient’s bedside improving their health outcome.

The Lasting Impact a Pandemic Caused in the Growth and Development of Children Under Five Years Old

By: Tiffany Sousa and Ana Carolina Cardoso

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The pandemic upended how students engage and learn. For many college students, it resulted in the transition to online learning and virtual connections with peers and instructors. The present study is being conducted to examine the effects of these transitions on college learning for Anna Maria students. A survey comprising of 34-multiple choice questions was designed covering topics related to students’ overall quality and satisfaction with online learning. The 2020 survey had been administered to understand- because of the COVID-19 pandemic- how the sudden shift from in person to online learning affected student learning and development. This survey is being re-administered in 2023 for students to answer and provide insight to any pandemic-related changes in their learning. Developed and administered by lead researchers Dr. Achu-Johnson Alexander and Dr. John Pratico, they seek to investigate the relationship between online learning and quality of learning experience. The online learning experience may have been coincidental and comfortable for both students and staff alike, however the transition to new technology and learning styles would prove to be a difficult task for staff to uphold. The learning curve for staff to transition to online learning would inhibit students’ abilities to actively participate in online classes, deterring their academic performance. By presenting a survey for the student body to complete, the department of psychology may have insight and find closure to the true nature of online learning for the 2020-2022 academic school years. Data collection is ongoing (currently, we have 171 responses) and findings from the study will be presented at the Academic Symposium

Caring for Newborns Addicted to Opioids

By: Vanessa Belliveau

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This paper is an evidence-based research paper on nursing care for newborns experiencing withdrawal from opioids. Using research from peer reviewed articles, this paper will demonstrate how the mother baby duo should be treated as one and how nursing care at the bedside may decrease the hospital stay of newborns in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU.) Studies show that the neonates experiencing opioid withdrawal can cut their hospital stay in half, in most cases, by being treated in the mother’s room. Mother morale and caregiver instinct have shown improvements by having the baby at the bedside while they are recovering. In conclusion, this paper will outline a proposal to treat neonates withdrawing from opioids at the mother’s bedside instead of the NICU and how treating this dyad as one can decrease inpatient stay times and encourage proper care.

Prevention of Central Line Associated Blood Stream Infections

By: Victoria Hammond

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This clinical practice problem evidence-based practice paper explored different interventions to decrease the incidents of central line associated blood stream infections (CLABSI). By inspecting and comparing, peer-reviewed and up to date articles the best practices for preventing these central lines infections was gathered and reexamined. The findings from the articles showed when central lines were cleaned with chlorhexidine Gluconate solutions: decreased infection rates when health care providers; clients and caregivers were empowered; given advanced resources; and increased educational interventions on how to care for a central lines. In addition, when chlorhexidine gluconate solutions were utilized healthcare workers had a specific and consistent plan of caring for central lines. All the studies had the same goal in mind; to answer the question, how can we decrease the incidence of central line associated blood stream infections? The participants from these studies ranged from: dialysis clients; medical surgical patients; clients in ICU centers; clients on hematology-oncology in-patient units; children with cancer; who were both inpatient and outpatient; as well and nurses and physicians from varying units and disciplines. Through the many methods, such as Markov chains, observational studies, randomized testing, PBED (Plan-Brief-Execute-Debrief) models, and fishbone analysis that were used in the studies, there were many ways found to decrease the incidence of CLABSIs

Best Practices in Diabetes

By: Victoria Orlando

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This Clinical Practice Problem Evidence-Based Practice paper explored the importance of self-care for pregnant women with gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) and type 2 diabetes (T2DM) in the clinical practice setting. The literature review reveals that it is important to protect the mother and the baby during gestation and post birth. The nurses provide a safe environment with no stigma or judgement, encouraging mothers to learn about diabetes management. These findings of this research show the efficacy of improving education and promoting self-care to improve outcomes for patients with Gestational Diabetes “GDM